Currently viewing the category: "Earwigs"
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Subject: Eastern Province Saudi Arabia Bug
Location: Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
November 16, 2014 10:49 pm
Hello, we’d be grateful to know what this is. It was seen last Tuesday, 11th November on a tennis court built on reclaimed land sticking out into the Arabian Gulf at Al Khobar. It was about 2 inches long. It was near where small children play so an idea as to whether it is venomous or not would be helpful. The immediate concern was that it was a scorpion but it has no claws and apparently a double stinger apparatus.
Signature: Catharine

Earwig

Earwig

Dear Catharine,
This is an Earwig in the order Dermaptera and Earwigs are frequently called Pincher Bugs because of the cerci at the tip of the abdomen that resemble forceps.  Your individual is in a threat position, but as Earwigs do not have venom and are not considered dangerous, the threat position is more of a bluff.

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Subject: Unidentified bug in Mulu
Location: Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia
November 8, 2014 10:24 am
We saw these bugs recently on a rock inside the Deer Cave in Mulu National Park in Sarawak and would be interested to know their name and a little about their lifecycle as the inside of the cave is pitch black.
Signature: John

Cave Earwigs

Cave Earwigs with Hairless Bulldog Bat

Dear John,

Our first thought was that these must be Orthopterans, members of the order that included Crickets and Grasshoppers, but a search brought us to a Flicker posting that identifies these unusual insects as Earwigs, Arixenia esau.  Paul Bertner who posted the image wrote:  “Found during a day walk in Deer cave, Mulu national park, HQ. Notice the reduced cerci, this is due to the earwig’s modified lifestyle in which it has given up its predatory role and instead lives epizootically; which is to say that it lives on or around another animal in either a mutualistic or parasitic relationship. Arixenia specifically feed on the body or glandular secretions of bats (usually Malaysian hairless bulldog bats) in the folds of skin or gular pouch. Unlike other genera of earwigs, some species of Arixenia are viviparous (give birth to live young).”  Images on Discover Life and Science Photo Library support the identification.

Cave Earwig

Cave Earwig

We believe the insects on the bat head are immature Earwigs.

Possibly Immature Cave Earwigs

Possibly Immature Cave Earwigs

Dear Daniel
Many thanks for that information. I also thought that it may have been some kind of a cricket but I am very pleased to now be able to put a name to my photograph.
kind regards
John Medlock

 

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Subject: Creepy scorpiony looking insect
Location: London, England
July 12, 2014 6:21 pm
Hey! I found this weird insect in my bathtub this evening . It’s dead but I got a picture of it because I’ve never ever seen anything like it before ! It looks like a scorpion from one end but a different insect from the other end! It is summer here in England now. Could you please help me identify this bug as i am really curious as to what it is! Thank you very much!
Signature: Ramandeep

Earwig

Male European Earwig

Dear Ramandeep,
This is an Earwig, commonly called a Pincher Bug.  Despite the ominous appearance, Earwigs lack venom and they are perfectly harmless.  In our opinion, this looks like a male European Earwig,
Forficula auriculari, and you may read more about the European Earwig on BugGuide.

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Subject: Bug in colorado
Location: Colorado
March 16, 2014 4:37 pm
These bugs have prongs in front and move fast. They kind of look like big ants.
Signature: Doesn’t matter

Male European Earwig

Male European Earwig

The “prongs” are actually pincers or cerci on the abdomen, and they are in the back of the insect.  This is an Earwig in the order Dermaptera, and we believe it is a male European Earwig, Forficula auricularia, a species introduced to North America from Europe in about 1910 according to BugGuide, and now well established coast to coast.

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Subject: Mystery bug
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
December 31, 2013 11:56 am
Hi!
I dropped a box of strawberries on the floor and as I was picking them up I noticed this little guy. Not sure if he was a stow away from somewhere in California or not. I live in Saskatchewan, Canada, where currently winter is just beginning and it’s -40 Celsius with wind chill. I have never seen a bug like this around here so any ideas are much appreciated! Thanks for your time.
Signature: Jess from SK

Earwig:  Doru species

Earwig: Doru species

Hi Jess,
This Earwign appears to be in the genus
Doru, and according to BugGuide:  “Back edge of the forewings is black, with the other two thirds yellow. With wings folded this gives the appearance of a black stripe down the middle of the back.”  Though most of the sightings on BugGuide are from the south, it is indicated that these Earwigs are found in Ontario.  So, it may have been a stowaway on the strawberries, or it may have been a local species for you, though we would favor the stowaway possibility.

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Subject: creepy bug
Location: santa barbara
November 22, 2013 10:39 pm
Hello,
I found this bug in my kitchen. I live in Santa Barbara Caliornia. Any idea on the type of bug this is?
Thanks,
Signature: LG

Earwig

Earwig

Dear LG,
This is an Earwig, and judging by the size of the cerci or pincers, this is a male.  Earwigs are basically harmless, though when they are numerous, they can do some damage in the garden, eating such things as rose buds.  According to BugGuide:  “Earwigs are sensitive to heat and dryness, so they usually hide in cool, dark places during the day and come out at night.  Some species hide mostly under leaves, rocks and other debris, while others hide under the bark of trees. An important habitat in the deserts of the southwest US is inside rotting cactus- one of the few places with constant moisture even in the driest parts of the year.  Winged species are often attracted to light at night.”  The name Earwig is allegedly derived from the Anglo-Saxon word earwicga, which according to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, refers to the notion that the Anglo-Saxons slept in sod huts with straw mattresses and “the warm and tight ear opening of a slumbering person might well have been a snug hiding place for these crevice-loving creatures.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination